Typology and sustainability assessment of rabbit farms in the urban and peri-urban areas of Southern Benin (West Africa)

Esteban Henoc Medenou, Bossima Ivan Koura, Luc Hippolyte Dossa

Abstract

Analysis of production systems allows scientists to identify their weaknesses, particularly concerning production practices which require improvements at economic, social, and environmental levels. The present study aimed to characterise rabbit farms in the urban and peri-urban areas of South Benin and assess their sustainability using the DIAMOND method, a multicriteria sustainability assessment tool. Ninety-eight farmers were surveyed and individually interviewed. Categorical principal component and twostep cluster analyses were performed on information collected for a typology of farms. Sustainability scores were generated using the scoring scale of the DIAMOND tool. Five types of rabbit farms were identified as follows: modern extensive polyculture, traditional extensive monoculture, modern extensive monoculture, semi-intensive polyculture, and traditional extensive polyculture. Overall, all the rabbit farms had good scores for the economic sustainability pillar but were socially limited. They were all similar in their economic and environmental performances. In particular, semi-intensive farms were the most socially sustainable, whereas traditional farms (either in polyculture or monoculture) showed the lowest social performances. Furthermore, there were significant differences between farms for criteria relating to consumers’ demands and resource use. Semi-intensive farms responded best to consumers’ demands, whereas the traditional polyculture farm type was the most resource use efficient. Overall, in the urban and peri-urban areas of South Benin, the most sustainable rabbit farms were semi-intensive. Irrespective of farm type, positive coefficients of correlations were recorded among the three pillars of sustainability, being significant between the social and economic pillars on one hand, and between the social and environmental pillars on the other hand. These results suggest that efforts to improve farm social performance would also positively affect their economic and environmental performances and improve overall farm sustainability.


Keywords

Oryctolagus cuniculus; small-scale farms; sustainable agriculture; city fringes

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References

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e-ISSN: 1989-8886     ISSN: 1257-5011   https://doi.org/10.4995/wrs